Thriving Communities - Outcome 4.3

Outcome 4.3: People will have opportunities to work and live-in resilient communities in and around the National Park.

Target – There are more young people and people of a working age living in the National Park; more opportunities for employment and training in the park and its gateway settlements; and the impact from commuting out of the Park, or its gateway communities, is reduced by encouraging more home-working.

Performance – Acceptable

Trend – Declining

Impact – The population of NNP continues to be older than the Northeast and England average and demographic forecasts suggest this trend will continue. Census data from 2021 show Northumberland’s population generally continues to age. High employment and limited housing may restrict the ability for new people to move to NNP, although there are more new dwellings being approved. The changes in the Local Plan in 2020 place more emphasis the use of homes within NNP as a primary residence.

Key Points

  • The NNP population has remained relatively static in previous years with little evidence to suggest young people are moving to the National Park.
  • Improved information will be available in early 2023 as the 2021 census data is published.
  • Agriculture remains the dominant industry, comprising 48% of the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) list of 170 registered businesses.
  • Home working continues to be encouraged through Northumberland County Council’s ‘Get Digital’ campaign and the i-northumberland broadband roll out. It remains to be seen if the rush to home working in rural areas has had a positive impact on the communities of the National Park.
  • Currently 51% of properties in NNP have access to superfast broadband against a Northumberland wide target of 95%.